Before you can start implementing a new omnichannel management strategy, you’ll need to consider the following:
- Your current order management strategy
- Your customer journey, from brand awareness to last-mile delivery
- The available solutions and options for omnichannel retailing
Audit your current order management strategy
To begin, you’ll need to analyze your current inventory and ordering procedures.
- How are you managing inventory and orders?
- Do you have a system that scales as you launch new sales channels?
- Is inventory synced between all of the channels you sell on, or is it siloed?
Are you keeping track of your inventory using a spreadsheet? This might result in an expensive blunder if your company expands. Spreadsheets are time-consuming and prone to human error. They also lack the order management software’s real-time features.
You will have to manually move inventory in your spreadsheets throughout the fulfillment process if someone places an order.
The chance of costly mistakes grows as you expand your channel reach. The sooner you adopt a system that integrates all of your channels, the better.
Understand your customer journey
Understanding your client journey is the first step toward knowing how an omnichannel management strategy might work for your organization.
- Where do your customers go to purchase your product?
- Do you have physical locations? If so, do you customers want curbside pickup?
- Are customers asking to make returns without going into the store?
- Are they interacting with your brand through social media?
- Do you offer products on major marketplaces like Target, Amazon, and Walmart?
The more touchpoints and channels you have, the more important an omnichannel order management solution becomes that links them all.
Consider the different solutions available to you
There are several solutions available if you believe your ecommerce business requires an omnichannel order management system to support managing shipping and logistics across various platforms.
If you’re searching for a comprehensive order and inventory management platform, Linnworks can help you expand into new channels more easily. Customer data, inventory, and purchase orders will all be kept up to date across all platforms if you use Linnworks.
If you need to simplify fulfillment across various channels and need a 3PL like Launch Fulfillment, which has direct integration with popular omnichannel solutions such as Linnworks, consider partnering with one.
Choosing an omnichannel order management system: a complete package
Fortunately, you don’t have to start from the ground up. Turnkey omnichannel order management solutions make it simple to put one together so you can go out there and win.
Here are some of the most important advantages and characteristics to think about while looking around.
There are several advantages to utilizing an omnichannel order management system to grow your firm.
The most important advantage is the opportunity to manage, connect, and automate your retail and e-commerce operations from a single platform.
All of your brick-and-mortar, website, call center, wholesale, and third-party marketplace purchases and returns are now handled by one system. It also means less data entry for your employees, more transparency across platforms, and the capacity to forecast demand.
Another advantage is how the system allows you to provide a uniform brand experience to your consumers. Customers may expect a similar experience regardless of where they make a purchase or engage with your business, which helps reduce any friction when making a purchase.
The advantages listed above are essential to your ability to rapidly and efficiently expand your firm. You’d be facing disrupted order processing, unreliable inventory counts, and dissatisfied clients if you didn’t have them.
Consider the following key omnichannel order management strategy capabilities.
While your company’s requirements will determine the omnichannel order management software you choose, these are some of the features to look for:
1. Inventory management strategy
It should be able to automatically keep track of available inventory on all of your channels at the very least. As a result, if a consumer purchases an item from an Amazon listing, all of your sales channels’ stock levels are updated immediately.
It should also include algorithms that route your orders to the correct warehouses and fulfillment centers, as well as identify the optimum shipping choices for each transaction. Inventory information should be valuable throughout the picking, packing, and shipment processes.
2. Order management strategy
You’ll need centralized workflows for processing all client orders, as well as any refunds, and you’ll need to be able to access previous and current customer information, including all purchases made across several channels.
3. Multi-channel listing management strategy
Another key element is the software you utilize to generate and keep product listings (including price data) across all of your channels from one place, rather than having to do frequent updates.
4. Shipping integrations
Is the program compatible with all of the major shipping carriers (such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, and USPS) as well as your 3PL’s technology? Many omnichannel softwares include compatibility with shipping and fulfillment solutions.
Linnworks, for example, connects with Launch Fulfillment’s platform so you may track orders and deliveries from one location.
5. Business intelligence
Using omnichannel order management strategy software gives you more information about your customers and allows for deeper insights into their habits.
You’ll get a comprehensive look at all of your sales channels, SKUs, order statuses, and more. Linnworks’ insights tools make it simple to track key metrics for stock history over time and important channels by date or fulfillment partner.